The granddaddy of all exercises, let alone the chest builder that displays upper body strength and swells ego-laden heads all around the world is the unparalleled barbell bench press. Of course, it is well suited to self-pity, the uncrowned king of the weightlifting world is a very effective tool for adding upper body strength and muscle.
Little compares to the ability to properly lift an impressive amount of weight off your chest with a loaded barbell. These can be used in this movement, but they do not have the same force, but they do not measure up to the sheer brutality of the barbell variation.
But what about the relative relative of the flat bench, the incline bench barbell press? Sure, we do not know how to make the difference between the two countries, but how does it compare to an overall chest builder? What are the real differences when taking mechanics, angle of stress and efficiency?
Flat bench barbell press
As mentioned earlier, the flat bench version of the barbell does not require a formal introduction to its popularity. We all know it’s the first exercise done on Mondays around the world. Despite its fame, many actually execute this exercise properly.
Lie down on the bench with your back, with your glutes and upper back in contact with the bench. Keeping your body tight, your bar is about 45 degrees angle from your torso. When the bar touches (not bounces) your lower chest area drive the bar back up to the start position with a slight bend in your elbows.
Be sure to drive through your feet. Also, during the lift, shift your shoulders down to the floor and face your waist to focus on your pecs and to protect your shoulders.
Pros: Because it is one of the upper body multi-joint movements, the flat bench press can pack on mass and strength. Utilizing the majority of muscle tissue from the pecs, shoulders and triceps, this exercise is not only effective but efficient as well. Few upper body moves exist where so much weight can be used for so many muscle groups. The flat bench press develops muscle, strength and power.
Cons: Of course, when done improperly and letting the ego sneak into your program, the flat bench press can be devil in disguise. Too much weight, loose form and contortionist back can spell certain injury. The key is to not treat the bench press. Look at the flat bench press like any other exercise to help build muscle safely and effectively. Performing the exercise properly is paramount when considering your longevity with resistance training.
Incline bench barbell press
Always reserved for upper pec work, the incline bench barbell Despite the difference in angle the incline version still has its need for proper form and technique. Often relegated to a secondary exercise, the press can do the job of packing on the chest mass quickly.
Lie on an incline bench similarly to the flat bench version with your upper back and glutes contacting the bench and a slight arch in your lower back. Squeeze your shoulders back to the floor and your rib cage expanded up to the ceiling.
Lower the bar down to your lower side of your neck and your elbows at a slight angle to your torso. Touch (not bounce) the bar to your upper chest and press the bar back to the starting position without locking your elbows.
Pros: As I mentioned, the incline bench barbell can be used on the top. When performed properly the incline presses a tremendous stretch on the lower part of the demand area. Although this exercise falls in the upper chest, it will still be stressful to the extent of some extent. And since the main chest area is often neglected on many physical, a comprehensive chest program that includes the inclination to effectively shore up any weaknesses.
Cons: As with every exercise (especially those for the chest). Too much weight can be used to increase your chances of suffering and burnout.
Another all too often during the incline is the use of a short range of motion. When the bar is stopped, let’s not forget the important stretch of the muscle tissue. More stretch equals more contraction and in the spells more mass and strength. Use less weight, a full range of motion and see better earnings.
These two are very different in effect. Common sense would tell you that the flat stresses the middle and lower portions of the pecs and the incline would stress the upper area. Well, the truth is that they stress their respective areas of the chest; however, they still both stress the entire area to some degree. When done properly and they should be both of them in the pack.
The incline bench barbell press does not seem to stretch the chest. This is usually why it is used in the past. In many cases the incline barbell is rarely used by most gym-goers. Weak upper pecs and a larger, stronger middle and lower chest seem to be the norm in most gyms.
Be sure to use both versions in your program. Starting your next chest program with a focus on the upper body of your chest.